The Santa Mugs Tradition

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I’ve heard of people making a tradition out of drinking hot chocolate from adorable little Santa mugs for Christmas Eve. I loved the idea, I bought two mugs and did my very best to save them for the night before Christmas. Ha.

I lasted about 10 minutes.

Trouble is, they are so DANG cute and fun to hold and even more fun to drink from, that welllllll…

I’m afraid that the official word on the new tradition at our house will be– to drink hot chocolate and herb tea and Postum and anything else you can think of out of these happy little mugs every chance you get for as long as possible.  Besides, they are too awesome to use once and then be done with them for a year.

So, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one with the cocoa mustache  drinking shamelessly from the Kringle mug on December 17.  Try to be brave.

I’m a rebel.

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A Real Dang Tree!

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Real tree. Real tree. Realtreerealtreerealtree. REAL TREEEEE!!

First one in about 25 years. It’s a funny shape and a little pinched and I don’t care because it’s REAL and it smells heavenly.

Ask me if I’m excited. Go ahead…

ask me.

Hee hee…

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Crochet Nativity

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I pinned this Crochet Nativity months and months ago, thinking….yeah, someday. But then, my sweet April sent me a text with this very link, saying, “Make this for me PLEASE!!”

Her birthday is in early December, so I didn’t have much time. I made Baby Jesus first so that if I only got that far, all would not be lost. The blanket in the pattern didn’t do it for me so I made my own by simply crocheting a yellow rectangle and tying  four-inch pieces of yarn to it. It turned out just the way I wanted it to and it’s not nearly as messy as loose pieces of string.

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Mary came next.  In the pattern her head dress is much shorter and blunt–almost like some kind of helmet. I wanted her to have a softer look so I made it longer and rolled it gently back–for a fabric-type look. Isn’t she adorable?

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I was slightly temped to stop here and tell my daughter that Mary would be trying out the single parent thing for a year or so….

but that felt lame- and just a tad disrespectful.

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So with only a day left before her birthday, Joseph made it to the event–just in time!

I also made his head dress longer and rolled back, but the biggest change is his beard. I think one of the most charming features of these little characters is their smile, but in the pattern, Joseph didn’t have one–and that didn’t seem right. So, instead of having a clear cut mustache and beard, I just made a triangle and sewed a smile on it.

Wahoo! Happy Joseph!

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I’m pretty sure they were all very happy that night.

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We were too.

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My First Christmas Eve~

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As I pulled out of the driveway from my daughter’s house, close to midnight on Christmas Eve–to spend the very first night at my very own little house, of course I was excited. Then, I looked back up at the big picture window and I could see them, Lyndi and her husband moving around in the front room to get everything ready for Santa Claus’ visit. I got the strangest clutch in my chest. My first thought was, “What am I doing?! Family and love and Christmas and happiness is happening right there, right now and I’m driving away from it–to be almost alone!”

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I’ve lived with my daughter and her family since before her children were born. Since both boys went on their missions. Since before Jillian got married. Since before Dane got married. Eight maybe nine Christmas’–I don’t know, I’ve lost count. It’s all we’ve known for a long, long time. Everything just the way that it was.

I kept driving out into the night with all the funny, scared, lonesome thoughts going through my head. By the time I was half way to my house it was snowing hard. After sliding a bit on a slow turn, I pulled over into a gas station parking lot…and started to cry. I was quite prepared to sit there for however long it took, to calm down and get a hold of myself.

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Then my phone rang. It was one of my other daughters calling to wish me a Merry Christmas Eve and to just see if I was ok. I think some little angel must have nudged her to call at that very moment. She told me that she was proud of me and that some things would be hard and different, but that they would also be good and wonderful. She told me that my family was still the same and close by and mine. She said that the scary things that were changing would be great.  Most importantly, she said, “Mom, everything is going to be all right.”

Insert big, heavy *sigh* right here.

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Funny how those last few words have such an incredible ability to actually make everything all right.

I drove the rest of the way home singing, “Chestnuts roasting…” with Nat King Cole, and it was warm and soft and lovely.

New. Different. A little scary.

But all good.

Here we go.

Merry Christmas my friends.

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The Christmas Shelf

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Of course this isn’t really a Christmas shelf–as in, that’s all we will ever use it for. It’s just that the very first official use of the thing was to set up a bit more holiday cheer–so to speak. Most of our Christmas storage boxes are nestled deep in the shed or back patio with 80,000 more boxes and tubs stacked on them. So, all that we are decorating with here are the new things acquired this year, or whatever didn’t get put away from last year.

Slim, but still decent pickings, indeed.

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I saw this in Target one night and it reminded me so much of my daddy and all his gingerbread making skills, that it worked it’s way into my cart–at the expense of two boxes of cereal.

Had to be done.

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This is a cute little “shelf elf” of sorts, that I won last year from the local toy store called Blickenstaff’s. I don’t remember what I had to do to win, but he was worth it.

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My dear friend Sue made the little wooden nativity and totally fulfilled my quest to get a new little set, from somewhere each year. Thanks, Sue!

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Then there is our most beloved manger scene that Rhen brought back from Kazakhstan. Here’s the little shepherd with his lamb, his donkey and his enormous dog.

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Here are the three wise men with their gifts.

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And of course, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus–in his wooley manger bed. Being a non-Christian country–this had to be specially and very quietly ordered, ahead of time. It’s really beautiful.

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Our plan is to sleep over for the first night in the new house–tomorrow–Christmas Eve.

It’s becoming a sweet, cozy place–and guess what~

My bed is getting set up tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to me!!

Wahoo–it’s happening!

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